Chelsea are out of the Champions League after two Real Madrid goals on the night condemned them to a 0-4 aggregate loss.
A damning 2-0 defeat in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu last week had left the Blues with a mountain to climb that proved unassailable in spite of their best efforts, eventually succumbing to the same fate.
The Pensioners acquitted themselves well in the first period, although clear cut chances were at a premium. N’Golo Kante shanked a good opportunity wide for the hosts before Rodrygo crashed an effort off the woodwork after quick feet for Los Blancos. Marc Cucurella would then fire a glorious opening straight at former Blue Thibaut Courtois.
For all the positives Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard and his men could take from the first 45 minutes, a goal had – as has so often been the case this season – eluded them and time was running out. The stage was set for a desperate second half of football.
Any hope was quickly extinguished by the ruthless reigning champions, with Rodrygo eventually guiding it home into an empty net after showing Trevoh Chalobah a clean set of heels in minute 58. It was a case of the same again with ten minutes left of time, with the Brazilian making it two.
The bright lights of European football have now all but dimmed over Stamford Bridge and the Blues must now look to see what they can salvage in a sombre Premier League season, starting with Brentford next Wednesday. In the meantime, here is how Absolute Chelsea rated the players’ performance against Real Madrid.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6/10
In the grand scheme of things, he was was scarcely called into action as Real Madrid primarily sought to defend their lead. Yet aside from being well equal to a Luka Modric effort in the first period, he found the ball nestling in the back of his net on two occasions on account of sketchy defending ahead of him.
Wesley Fofana – 6/10
Fared much better up against the livewire Vinicius Junior than the week prior. Added some reinforcement and steel to the right flank, behind Reece James covering a lot of ground. Almost metronomic accuracy in his passing, too.
Thiago Silva – 6/10
Completely marked Karim Benzema out of the game in what looks liable to be his final ever performance in the Champions League. If that transpires to be the case, then he can go out with his head held high knowing that he could hang at the very top level in his veteran years.
Trevoh Chalobah – 5/10
The young Sierra Leonean was having a quietly competent game but his failure to stop Rodrygo in his tracks for the goal that killed off the tie will keep him awake tonight. In fairness, only some of the blame can be apportioned to him for being in that position in the first place – but it stands as a blemish on his performance and another chapter in his education of the brutal and unforgiving nature of elite football.
Reece James – 7/10
Genuinely bust a gut in the first half to find an opening, and it appeared like it was taking it toll when he pulled up lame before the half-time whistle. Looked the most potent threat all evening but faded as the game wore on as he was spent. Deserves credit for his efforts.
Mateo Kovacic – 5/10
A lot of safe passing but not enough daring in either that aspect of his game or his usual driving runs forward. Over the two legs he was effectively a passenger against his former employers.
Enzo Fernandez – 6/10 (67)
Looked up for the battle and instilled a nice tempo into proceedings as Chelsea sought an opener. His long passing was particularly pleasing and the Argentinian will be a pivotal figure in the rebuild to come.
N’Golo Kante – 5/10
Two handy opportunities went begging at the hand – or rather, foot – of the Frenchman and he was not quite his former self on the big occasion. Unable to exert any real impact.
Marc Cucurella – 3/10 (67)
The utterly braindead decision to press and leave colleague Chalobah at the mercy of the pacey Rodrygo was the cherry on top of a poor performance from the Spaniard. Too often his passes were overhit and wayward, piling on more pressure for the Pensioners. In the final analysis, his failure to convert on the stroke of half-time felt pivotal and any player worth his salt should be finding the back of the net. Another howler in the books for Marc Cucurella.
Conor Gallagher – 5/10 (67)
Played with a lot of heart but just lacking that little bit of definitive quality to make a real difference and leave his footprint on the tie.
Kai Havertz – 6/10 (76)
The German worked hard up front, almost effectively as a lone attacker if you take the teamsheet at face value. Some nice touches in tight spaces and ran the channels, but never found himself in a real goalscoring position.
Raheem Sterling – 4/10 (67)
Came on, lost the ball on a couple of occasions, rarely spotted thereafter. Hardly the performance of a player who has been doing it at the top level for a decade.
Mykhailo Mudryk – 5/10 (67)
A very raw performance from the bench. Some noteworthy moments include a lung-busting run to defend his own box, showing great pace. Some eye-catching touches too, but his finishing wasn’t fantastic. Offers energy and something different.
Joao Felix – 5/10 (67)
One particular passage of play was Joao Felix in a microcosm. Picked up the ball on the turn, evaded two players, showed lightning pace, followed by indecisiveness and a failure to find the simple, right pass.
Mason Mount – N/A (76)
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